New storage facility a major milestone

North America’s first major energy storage facility, using hydrogen, has opened its doors in Markham and represents “a major milestone” for the province’s energy sector, promising to defer the need for new energy infrastructure and reduce costs for consumers.

Owned and managed as a joint venture between Enbridge Gas Distribution and Hydrogenics Corporation, the facility features technology developed and manufactured in Mississauga by Hydrogenics. It provides effective energy storage to deliver power grid stability and reliability services. In the future, the technology promises to help reduce or defer the need for new energy infrastructure, such as generation, poles and wires, and provide energy storage through gaseous hydrogen, thereby reducing costs for Ontario consumers.

“I’ve worked in the energy sector my entire career and this is one of the most exciting projects in which I’ve ever been involved, says Enbridge president Jim Sanders. “I’m proud to see a Canadian company leveraging world-class Canadian technology to solve current energy challenges. Today is a major milestone for Enbridge and Ontario’s energy sector.”

Energy storage is considered an essential tool to reduce energy costs for Ontario consumers. Such applications are already used in Asia and Europe. The hydrogen produced can also be used for a number of purposes, such as fueling cars and trains, and it can be blended into the natural gas system to offset traditional natural gas. Once the low-carbon gas is injected in the pipeline, it can serve multiple energy markets, including building heating, heavy duty transportation fuels and dispatchable power generation.

The hydrogen-based facility is the latest example of Enbridge’s investment in renewable and clean energy. The company also has three solar farms, three wind farms and a hydroelectric dam. Enbridge is also developing electricity transmission in Ontario’s north.

Photo: Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti (centre) and Councillor Alan Ho tour North America’s first major power-to-gas energy storage facility at Markham. CNW Group/Enbridge Gas Distribution photo

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